The relationship of undergraduate students' perceptions of interactional justice to academic performance, organizational commitment, and organizational trust at the University of Connecticut

Date of Completion

January 2004


Education, Administration|Education, Higher




Interpersonal interactions between students and professors are an important aspect of the developmental process of college-aged students (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). The quality of these interactions, otherwise known as interactional justice, can have significant impact on individuals' perceptions of fairness and, ultimately, productivity (Greenberg, 1990a). When interpersonal interactions are fulfilling and rewarding, commitment to an organization is enhanced (Martin & Bennet, 1996). Should these interactions be deemed inadequate and insincere, organizational commitment is in jeopardy. ^ In business relationships, commitment has also been linked to trust (Moorman, Deshpande, & Zaltman, 1993; Salmond, 1994). Ghosh and colleagues (2001) suggest that institutions of higher education can benefit economically and otherwise by building student trust, yet little attention has been focused on measuring this concept or its antecedents. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to assess the interrelationships among interpersonal interaction between professors and students, academic performance, organizational commitment, and student trust at the University of Connecticut. ^ An on-line survey was distributed to 1,000 full-time undergraduate students at the University of Connecticut. A randomized list of e-mail addresses was generated, a listserv was created, and all participants remained anonymous. Students were asked to complete a 29-item survey, with questions adapted from three established instruments: the Organizational Justice Inventory , the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire, and the Student Trust and Its Antecedents Survey. All data were analyzed using the Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Statistical methods included simple regression correlation, multivariate multiple regression, and analysis of variance. ^ This study is expected to significantly contribute to the existing body of literature on perceptions of the undergraduate student experience. Investigating students' perceptions of interactional justice and how it affects such factors as organizational commitment and student trust can provide insight to professors and administrators of the level of impact they are having on student growth, development, and, potentially, university retention rates. ^